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Archive of posts published in the category: hlzjpbgd
May
7

UK companies explore energy opportunities in the Egyptian market

first_img UK companies explore energy opportunities in the Egyptian market. (Credit: Crown copyright) The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), in partnership with the Scottish Development International (SDI) organised the first virtual energy event to explore business opportunities for UK-Scottish companies in Egypt’s transition to net zero, as part of UK’s endeavour to support Egypt in its energy reform program.Egypt is the largest non-OPEC oil producer in Africa, as well as the continent’s second largest natural gas producer. With Egypt currently implementing the Petroleum Sector’s Modernisation Project, aiming at a sustainable development of the petroleum sector, UK companies are keen to get involved in the many business opportunities presented.More than 100 attendees joined the webinar, among them the British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Geoffrey Adams, who delivered an opening speech and a country economic and security briefing. Egypt’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum’s Technical Office, Osama Mobarez, also attended the event and gave an overview of Egypt’s energy priorities. In addition, the CEO of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, Eng. Abed Ezz El Regal, participated and highlighted the important opportunities in Egypt’s oil and gas project pipeline.The British Egyptian Business Association, the Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce and the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce have all promoted the event to their members alongside the Department for International Trade and Scottish Development International. The event demonstrated the level of enthusiasm amongst the participants from both the UK and Egypt to trigger a new era in Energy Transition.British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Geoffrey Adams, said:“I was delighted to join this webinar today, and to thank everyone involved in putting it together. I spoke about the direction we have received from the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister of the UK to boost as much as we can the relations between our two countries, not least in the field of trade and investment; and I encouraged UK companies to take advantage of the opportunities here in Egypt, particularly as it reforms its energy markets and heads towards net zero.”Undersecretary – Minister’s Technical Office, Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, Osama Mobarez said: > Egypt and the UK enjoy longstanding ties with special strategic partnerships in the oil and gas sector. The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has adopted several reforms and policies to ensure energy security, financial stability and enhance the investment environment to avail more opportunities. These reforms have resulted in several successes providing more opportunities to our partners and driving further achievements.SDI’s Regional Manager for Africa and Middle East, Andrew Monaghan stated: ‘“It has been a great pleasure to co-present this successful event with our Egyptian partners and our colleagues in DIT. Over the last 50 years of exploration and production in the North Sea, Aberdeen in Scotland has gained prestige as the oil and gas capital of Europe, and with justification, our Subsea engineering skills lead the world. The global energy industry is undergoing a massive transformation, from fossil fuels to renewables, and the UK is at the forefront of that transformation, as the recently released report by Aberdeen-based Oil & Gas Technology Centre on UK’s journey toward a net-zero energy future excellently portrays. It is a journey we invite our Egyptian partners to take with us.” Source: Company Press Release UK-Scottish companies explore business opportunities in Egypt as the country transitions to net zerolast_img read more

May
3

Album: Saving My Face, KT Tunstall

first_imgby Elen Griffiths“I’m losing my memory, saving my face…” is the refrain of KT Tunstall’s newly released single, ‘Saving My Face’. “I’m all out of love, all out of faith,” she sings powerfully, “I would give everything, just for a taste”. For a taste of what though? These predictably cryptic lyrics make this song one of Tunstall’s edgy-yet-mainstream songs, placed firmly in the pop genre by the strong beat and guitar riffs. Tunstall first broke into the music scene with her song ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’, described by her website as a ‘one-woman blues-stomp,’ which wooed the public with its quirky, folksy lyrics and upbeat pace. By comparison, Tunstall’s new song is disappointingly unoriginal; it sounds much like the other mediocre offerings on her first album.Yet that is what many listeners will like about it: ‘Saving My Face’ intertwines Tunstall’s very distinctive voice with that strong beat,  predictably crescendoing to a powerful chorus at the end. People who really enjoyed Tunstall’s previous albums will have difficulty finding fault with this track; but it is too similar, and the lyrics too predictably edgy, to really hail it as a new and exciting song.last_img read more

May
3

Oxford Union sets out to improve its queues

first_imgThe Oxford Union will be implementing a new queueing system for Tuesday’s ‘Must Rhodes Fall’ debate and other popular events this term in response to issues with the European Union debate in Michaelmas.Jack Lennard, press officer for the Union said, “The Oxford Union regularly hosts some of the most fascinating and appealing discussions and speakers in Oxford. After listening to feedback from the last term, we made it clear that we intended to overhaul access protocols for our more popular events. With this new queueing system, we hope to give our members a fairer chance to see who they want than ever before. We hope to fully monitor the success of this trial, and work with our members to find a permanent solution, whether this system or a variation, that achieves this goal.”Under the new system, 200 free tickets will be available for collection from 11am the day before the event, with every member entitled to pick up a ticket for themselves and two other members. In order to pick up tickets for another member, one must have the other person’s membership card with one.250 seats will still be available on a first-come-first-served basis the evening of the event itself.If a ticket holder is not in her seat by 7.30pm, her place will be given to someone else in the queue—with updates on the size of the queue to be regularly provided on the Facebook event page.Jake Olenick, a first year Physics and Philosophy student at Exeter, told Cherwell that he thinks the changes will be positive, saying, “[The new system] seems like a pretty good idea to me. One of the biggest problems on the EU debate queue was one person standing in for a bunch of others, but with this system you can only get a spot for up to 2 other people, so it limits that sort of problem. Overall, I’m thinking it’ll be a much better queue than last time.”last_img read more

Apr
20

Press release: Tree Champion: we must preserve our urban trees

first_img Whether they’re rooted in countryside woodland or in urban cityscapes, trees make our environment more attractive and a healthier place to live and work – which is why expertise in the planting and maintenance of urban trees is vital. Aimed at local authorities, charities and community groups, the manual provides advice on selecting the right tree for the right place in towns and cities – ensuring the views of local communities are at the heart of decision-making and residents are properly consulted before street trees are felled.Released during Green GB Week – a week of action dedicated to celebrating clean growth – the toolkit has been designed in recognition of the important role urban trees play in the environment. These include improving health and wellbeing, encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors, absorbing noise and reducing temperatures.Bringing together knowledge from organisations such as the Forestry Commission, Forest Research and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the manual provides tips on choosing planting location, tree type and soil to maximise the environmental benefits, as well as highlighting the long term threats to trees from pests, disease and climate change.Government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley said: I hope this Urban Tree Manual will help to improve decision-making around the country to make sure our invaluable trees are preserved now – and for future generations.center_img The toolkit builds on work already underway by local authorities to help trees flourish, featuring case studies such as the planting at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which focused on choosing climate change resilient trees, and Observatree – a collaborative citizen science project which aims to spot new pest and disease threats to UK trees.The release of the Urban Tree Manual forms part of the government’s wider work to protect and promote our precious trees, including our commitment to plant one million trees in our towns and cities and eleven million trees nationwide over the course of this parliament.Protecting and planting more trees is a key part of our ambitious 25-Year Environment Plan, which will ensure we leave this environment in a better state for the next generation.last_img read more

Mar
2

PREMIERE: The Other Brothers Premiere Weed-Steeped Party Track “A2W” Off New EP

first_imgSoul-revival sextet The Other Brothers are one of New York State’s hottest rising bands. Every Other Brothers show is a family affair, as their family-like fan base continues to grow with each successive performance. Recently, the band has been making waves with their impending debut EP, Jones,whose Saturday, September 30th premiere will be celebrated with their sold-out album release show at American Beauty NYC. They have the biggest cult following in The Hudson Valley, and the reason behind their fans’ enthusiasm is easy to comprehend after just one listen to the new EP: Every Other Brothers show inevitably turns into a family affair.The Other Brothers Prove Their Might With A Great Hometown Performance [Review]One of the album’s lead tracks, “A2W,” is a funky track whose name is a ganj-ified acronym for “Addicted To Weed.” In the brand new music video for the track, Owens sings about his affinity for the herb over a bouncing hip-hop/funk-inflected groove with a blunted swagger, toking up in a multitude of ways before ending up at a raging party. As he explains about the track, “Upon first listen, ‘A2W’ stands strongly as a tongue-in-cheek party track, seemingly promoting a careless life of drug-infused debauchery. However, with closer inspection, the wrung-out desperation of the protagonist is revealed.”Whether or not you were familiar with the band before, this video leaves you craving a burn session with the Brothers as soon as possible. The song has more depth to its meaning that one might see with the naked eye, but that only partially dulls the clear fact that these guys know how to get the funk down.Watch the official video for The Other Brothers’ “A2w” below, exclusively on Live For Live Music:Jones was recorded at the Art Farm in New York and mixed/mastered at the legendary Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, and the energy conveyed by this up and coming funk/soul/rock act on their first official release is palpable.The Other Brothers have been fighting the good fight for live funk music since 2012, and lead singer Chris Owens and his band have frequently drawn comparisons to soul-funk immortals like Stevie Wonder and D’Angelo. The band has also shared the stage with a host of talented artists, including the likes of Vulfpeck’s Theo Katzman and Joe Dart.Watch The Other Brothers perform Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman” with Theo Katzman and Joe Dart at Garcia’s in Port Chester, NY below:Thanks to their loyal and ever-growing fan base, in addition to their unique songwriting and engaging live performances, this group of musicians is poised to establish themselves as consummate talents in music industry for years to come.For more information on The Other Brothers, or to check out a list of upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.Upcoming Other Brothers Tour Dates:10/14 Foam Brewers Burlington, VT10/27 BSP Kingston, NY w/ Breakfast for the Boys11/4 Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY11/22 Thanksgiving Eve @The Hollow Albany, NY12/9 Snugs New Paltz, NYlast_img read more

Mar
1

Biotech firms, Hub hospitals strengthen ties

first_imgTwo Boston teaching hospitals are stepping up research into cardiovascular disease in separate programs that illustrate the deepening collaboration between academic medical centers and the biopharmaceutical industry.Brigham and Women’s Hospital, meanwhile, will open the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences in a partnership with Japanese drug maker Kowa Company Ltd. to conduct basic research into the genesis of diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes. The Kowa-funded center, which will be the largest of the Boston hospital’s global pharmaceutical collaborations, will employ about 12 researchers in the Longwood Medical Area.Read more here (Boston Globe)last_img read more

Mar
1

Study finds higher STD rates among users of erectile dysfunction drugs

Users of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs have higher rates of sexually transmitted disease (STD) than do non-users, Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found after analyzing insurance records of more than 1.4 million U.S. men over age 40.  The findings, published in the July 6th edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest physicians who prescribe ED drugs for their male patients, even older ones, should be sure to discuss with them the importance of safer sex practices.The study’s lead author is Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, of the MGH’s Department of Medicine.  The senior author is Dana Goldman, PhD, director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California (USC).“Anyone who does not practice safer sex, no matter their age, can contract an STD,” says Jena.  “Even though STDs are quite rare among older men – on the order of 1 per 1,000 individuals – we found that STD rates in men who used ED drugs were two to three times higher, both before and after they filled their first prescription.”Jena and his co-authors note that ED drugs have become popular since sildenafil (Viagra) was first introduced in 1998.  As early as 2002 it was estimated that up to 20 percent of U.S. men over 40 had tried an ED drug.  Studies have shown both that rates of STDs, including HIV/AIDS, are rising in older individuals as well as in the general public and that people over 50 are much less likely than those in their 20s to use condoms during sex or to be tested for HIV infection.  A survey of primary care physicians found that they rarely if ever discussed reducing sexual risk factors with middle aged or older patients.Small studies of men who have sex with men had associated the use of ED drugs with higher-risk behaviors and increased rates of STDs.  But no previous study had examined the relationship between ED drugs and STD risk in a large, representative sample of privately insured older men.  For the current study, the researchers examined health insurance claims records covering 1997 though 2006 from 44 large U.S. employers.  For male beneficiaries over 40 who used ED drugs, the researchers collected data covering one year before and one year after the first prescription was filled.  Each ED drug user was matched with five non-users randomly selected from the database, for whom claims data covering the same two-year periods was collected.The final study group included about 40,000 men who used ED drugs and nearly 1.37 million who did not.  In both the year before and the year after the first ED drug prescription, users had significantly higher rates of STDs than did non-users in matching time periods.  HIV/AIDS was the most frequently reported STD in both groups, followed by chlamydia.  Since the prevalence of STDs did not markedly change after ED drug therapy began, the authors note that the difference between groups probably reflects higher-risk sexual practices among users of the drugs.  The data gathered could not indicate whether ED drug use itself increased STD risk, but the authors are investigating that question in a further study.“Health care providers need to recognize that their older adult patients who are on ED drugs are already at a higher risk of having or acquiring an STD,” says Goldman.  “Both the physicians who prescribe these drugs and the pharmacists who fill those prescriptions should counsel all patients on the importance of safer sexual practices.”Co-authors of the Annals of Internal Medicine report are Amee Kamdar, PhD, University of Chicago; Darius Lakdawalla, PhD, Schaeffer Center at USC; and Yang Lu, PhD, RAND Corporation.  The study was supported by grants from the RAND Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Bing Center for Health Economics. read more

Mar
1

Sampling the scholar’s life

first_imgWhen he was in high school, Ozdemir Vayisoglu ’16 dug into the past, uncovering buried secrets at an archeological site in his native Turkey. This summer, he was digging again. But instead of carefully sifting through dirt thousands of miles away, he was poring over archives at Harvard’s Semitic Museum.Working with its director, Peter Der Manuelian, Vayisoglu helped research and develop an exhibit that examines the museum’s founding in 1903 by Professor David Gordon Lyon.“We really want to recapture [Lyon’s] vision in creating this museum,” said Vayisoglu, an economics concentrator from Eliot House who also loves history, archaeology, and museum studies. “He saw this museum as an educational tool.”Egyptian stelae, cuneiform tablets, Israelite figurines, Roman glass, historic travel photos, and ethnographic objects from the Middle East all will be part of the vivid exhibit set to open this fall.For 10 weeks, Vayisoglu scoured Lyon’s diary entries and the registration cards of museum objects to help develop themes for the display and the exhibit’s accompanying text. “His diaries were amazing. It was like digging up the past in the archives. It was just a different kind of excavation … you never know what you are going to find out.”Vayisoglu is one of 11 Harvard undergraduates who worked closely with Harvard faculty and administrators this summer as part of the Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP). Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, SHARP, now in its second year, connects students seeking research opportunities in the arts and humanities with Harvard scholars and experts looking for help.The initiative is the latest addition to the summertime undergraduate research program, which began nine years ago with the Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering. The Harvard College Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences soon followed, along with the Program for Research in Markets and Organizations, in collaboration with Harvard Business School.Adding a humanities and arts component to the summer research programs has long been a goal for its administrators. Harvard faculty members have also been eager to get involved. The number of SHARP research partnerships more than doubled since the program began last year. This summer, students researched primitive navigation techniques for a Science Center exhibit in December organized by the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, and worked with the Peabody Essex Museum to explore how visitors engage with the museum. The students studied African musicians, the legacy of World War I, and folklore.“Focus was the great gift of the SHARP Program,” wrote Maria Tatar in an email. Harvard’s John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and of Folklore and Mythology researched African-American folktales with help from undergraduates Ali Zimmerman ’15 and Rebecca Panovka ’16. “The three of us were able to live and breathe the air of the research program, and weekly meetings gave us the chance to exchange information, ideas, discoveries, and obsessions. … It did not take long for us to reach the point where we felt collectively that this was the richest and most intellectually rewarding work we had ever done.”Since 2005, more than 1,000 students have taken part in the competitive research programs that allow busy Harvard undergraduates to focus on one research project free of other obligations and demanding class schedules. The work is a perfect primer on the rigors of steady, self-directed academic research. For some students, that flexibility proves challenging.Zimmerman, who spent much of her summer online researching how the “The Frog Prince” evolved from a Brothers Grimm fairytale to a reworked Disney film, as well as the evolution of the “Tar-Baby” story, based on a character from the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris, said she experienced a type of “culture shock” with SHARP. When school is in session, “You have to balance four classes, extracurriculars, make time to eat,” said Zimmerman who also works during the semester. This schedule “has been a shift for me,” she added, “and my biggest challenge.”Working so closely with a Harvard expert seeking input and feedback also took some getting used to. Initially, Zimmerman found herself a little overwhelmed to “be in the room with the person who wrote the book and have her say, ‘Well, what do you think about this?’ And you’re like ‘What do you mean, what do I think? What do you think? That’s what matters.’”But Tatar’s inclusive style put the rising senior at ease. “She was so welcoming and generous with her time and thoughts and really considering of what you have to say,” said Zimmerman.Students also learn from each other. Each year the undergraduates live and socialize in “the research village,” more commonly known as Mather House, and the Dudley House dining hall. The area transforms into a living laboratory where friendships and the exchange of ideas flourish between young scientists and sociologists, authors, and engineers.“The key to what happens in the house environment is the fellows themselves,” said Greg Llacer, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “We really emphasize that the cohort drives their own identity, and they drive it through their own interactions.”Those interactions extended beyond campus, with trips to the Arnold Arboretum, Tanglewood, and a local chocolate factory, among other outings. Llacer recalled two students comparing their areas of research on a visit to Fenway Park. “To me that was a success story beyond my wildest imagination … they are talking about their intellectual interests, no matter where they are.”The program also organized weekly discussions for the budding scholars, such as a public speaking primer for researchers, and a research integrity training session, as well talks in specific research fields. This summer SHARP attendees met with several Harvard luminaries including the authors Louis Menand, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English; Jill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History; and Diana Sorensen, dean of arts and humanities and James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature.“They are really getting the top people in the field to come talk to us in a very intimate setting,” said Rachel Gibian ’15, a religion and literature concentrator who engaged her passion for the stage during her summer research work. Gibian joined forces with Tim McCarthy, Harvard lecturer on history and literature and on public policy, helping him research and craft a play titled “Four Harriets” about prominent female abolitionists during the Civil War. The play will premiere at the American Repertory Theater this season as part of a series of Civil War-themed productions. Gibian also trolled the Schlesinger and Houghton libraries looking for information that would help McCarthy with a spring course he is developing in tandem with the series.Gibian said her summer experience lived up to the finding of the 2009 Harvard Arts Task Force that encouraged a greater emphasis on art-making in the undergraduate curriculum.“This seemed like a great way to bring art-making in to academic research. So yes, you are spending hours and hours at Houghton and Schlesinger library … but the end result is a play and the research question you are asking is ‘What would Harriet Beecher Stowe say to Harriet Tubman?’ … ‘How do we make these characters come alive?’”last_img read more

Jan
1

Governor, Vermont delegation tour Asia on EB-5 mission

first_imgBy James Dwinell. A tour of China? Wow, as a youth in school, China was not even on the map, having ‘disappeared’ by decree after the Mao’s liberation. And yet here I was, scrambling to obtain a visa, update my shots, print business cards in Chinese, purchase tickets, and familiarize myself with the EB-5 rules.The basic conditions of the EB-5 program are: a foreign national may make an at risk equity $500,000 investment in an American enterprise and in return receive temporary green cards for himself, his/her spouse, and their children. Each potential investor must be cleared by the American government and prove that his $500,000 was gained legitimately and that he had this $500,000 asset for as least five years.The American entrepreneur must prove to the American government that his opportunity will create at least 10 direct or indirect jobs per each $500,000 investment. Further, for the green cards to become permanent, the project must still have 10 jobs per investment two years on. There can be no guaranteed return or interest on the investment, and it may not be repaid for five years.With that and tickets in hand, we set off for the 12-hour and 57-minute flight from Chicago into the sun, leaving at noon on Thursday and arriving five movies and three meals later in Tokyo on Friday at 3 pm. With the 12-hour time change, day is night and night is day. Departing the aircraft one feels that he has lost his gyroscope hoping not to fall, disoriented like the beetle on its back, saying ‘which way is up?’The airport is quiet, almost silent, ones hears only soles of shoes meeting the ground. There is no litter, so clean. We hop on a bus arriving at a five star hotel arranged for us by the State of Vermont. The rush begins. The next day after a walk through the Imperial Palace grounds, we hold our first reception. We dress, set up our displays, and unfortunately host only one firm interested in EB-5 investments.Falling into bed, we rise at 5 am to meet a 5:40 bus to the airport, and on to Beijing. Unlike Japan, Beijing is neither quiet nor clean. Its scale is massive. The concourse is not 30 feet wide as in America, but 30 yards wide, and full of Chinese. You move like the bevy of swans in Swan Lake with no one tripping over another, just gliding. Once outside you can taste the air. There will be no star gazing in China.We were off to the hotel for another reception at 4 pm. This turnout is better but remains in single digits. We asked the state what sort of marketing was done to promote these receptions and were told, ‘None.’ We asked the Vermont Chamber of Commerce who assisted in the trip the same question and we were told, ‘We were only asked to do the logistics in China and Hong Kong.’One more day in Beijing with a Chamber sponsored lunch and up at 4:45 am and on the bus at 5:30 to fly to Shanghai and another reception at 4 pm. The crowd was larger, 20-30, and the quality was high. Many people had been in attendance the previous year. Governor Douglas had his first opportunity to address the potential a group. It was a collection of investors, agents, public relation experts, and immigration attorneys including three from Montreal, now with offices in both cities.The quality of the hotels was beyond compare. Your scribe, like Eloise, has stayed at the Plaza and other western five-star hotels. They would compare as a roadside motel beside the Asian hotels with their remarkable attention to detail, unique design elements, service response, spas with steam rooms, cold and hot tubs, pools out of the movies, and attendants to cater to your every need. Total relaxation.The Vermont King of EB-5 investment is Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak. He has signed up over 200 international investors from 48 countries. Take a trip to Jay Peak. The bundle of activity, of good-paying construction jobs, is truly a sight to see. Each time I approached the state with an EB-5 question, the answer was ‘ask Bill Stenger, he knows the most.’ So we did.‘I was very disappointed in the turnout in Tokyo and Beijing though we did find two solid prospects in Beijing,’ Stenger said. ‘I was told that the state mailed some database, but clearly it was not effective. Shanghai was strong and the quality of the attendee was high. It was also our second year proving to the investor that we are a fully owned player who is not here today and gone tomorrow. We developed some good relationships. In Hong Kong we had a small but high quality group.’While most of the group returned home from Hong Kong, Stenger put together his own reception in Ho Chi Ming City (formerly Saigon). Governor Douglas accompanied him.The governor was remarkable. He was a bundle of energy and good cheer. He made himself available, by appointment, to any of the Vermont delegation for one on one meetings with investors to help close the deal. Investors said that in no other state did they even see a governor let alone sit down with one. Having met Vermont’s governor gave them enhanced credibility and comfort in our Vermont projects.Stenger and Douglas had high praise for the Vietnamese. Stenger said, ‘We were very happy with the turnout. We worked for about a month promoting the reception and had 178 turn out and I expect about 30 will invest. There is an emerging middle class with strong entrepreneurial skills.’Douglas concurred saying, ‘I found the Vietnamese to be friendly, interested and interesting. They are a people looking for opportunities for their families. There is clearly lots of wealth, a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial strain. For an EB-5 opportunity, Vermont is the only state where the EB office is run by the state. We monitor the program and follow up with the investors and the investments and this gives a level of greater comfort to the investor. We have received very good feedback from both our business community and the investor.’Stenger concluded by saying, ‘I am an American who grew up in the time of the Vietnamese war. It was very interesting to me to be here, but it gave me an uneasy feeling seeing traffic signs to Da Nang and the like. I know that the page has turned and I can see that Vietnam today is where China was 15 years ago and equally entrepreneurial. This was the highlight of a good trip for us and I expect that we will be returning early next year.’James Dwinell lives in Norwich. Please send comments to [email protected](link sends e-mail)last_img read more

Jan
1

Vermont ANR offers technical assistance to expedite flood recovery

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is offering technical assistance to communities and individuals to expedite flood recovery in Vermont.  Staff from the agency’s Water Quality Division are available to answer questions and provide technical assistance in connection with work impacting wetlands, lakes and ponds, and involving stormwater management.       During this recovery period, the division will work to expedite approval for emergency repair work through a combination of existing emergency provisions in law, conditions in existing permits that allow repair work, and the exercise of enforcement discretion whereby the division may determine that work may proceed without permits.  In some cases, but not all, a follow-up permit or approval will be issued in the months to come. Questions and requests for technical assistance should be directed to staff in the Wetlands, Lakes and Ponds, and Stormwater Programs as listed below or by calling the main number at 802-241-3777.  Further contact information is available at  www.vtwaterquality.org(link is external).   Wetlands:  The Vermont Wetlands Rule provides that emergency repairs in a wetland and its buffer zone do not require a permit if the configuration of the wetland’s outlet or the flow of water into or out of the wetland is not altered; and  work is related to emergency repair, cleanup, or maintenance of structures and facilities (including utility poles and lines, public transportation facilities, bulkheads, docks, piers, pilings, paved areas, houses, or other buildings) or emergency actions required to provide for public health, safety and welfare for disaster relief in connection with a federal or state-designated disaster. People who take emergency actions in wetlands should minimize impacts to the wetland to the extent possible and should seek technical assistance from the Vermont Wetlands program at the following numbers:     Shannon Morrison, District Wetlands Ecologist (Northeast Vermont) – (802) 241-3762Alan Quackenbush, Program Manager (Northwest Vermont) – (802) 241-3761Rebecca Chalmers, District Wetlands Ecologist   (Central and Southern Vermont) – (802) 885-8851Patti Greene-Swift (Northwestern Vermont) – (802) 879-2396 or (802) 279-2289 People who work in wetlands during this flood recovery period should also be aware that approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) may be required.  The USACE New England Regional Office may be reached at (978) 318-8111. Lakes and Ponds:  The Lakes and Ponds Program staff is available to provide technical assistance to aid in addressing lakeshore stability and water quality issues. Visit the website www.vtwaterquality.org/lakes.htm(link is external) for information and recommendations for natural shoreline stabilization options.  All work in a lake, from the mean water level and lakeward, requires a permit from the Shoreland Encroachment Program. Contact Steven Hanna at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or (802) 241-3794 for information and technical assistance.  If an eroding shoreline is an emergency, the program will determine if enforcement discretion may be utilized to expedite emergency work.  In addition, you may contact Susan Warren, Lakes and Ponds Program Manager, at (802) 241-3794 for information regarding emergency work in lakes and ponds. It is possible that the large amount of phosphorus and sediment entering Lake Champlain and other lakes as a result of the flooding will trigger late summer and fall algae blooms. Learn how to recognize a possible blue-green algae bloom and keep people and pets out of the water when they are present. See the Department of Health website for additional information: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/bg_algae/bgalgae.aspx(link is external) Stormwater:  All stormwater regulations remain in effect, however the Stormwater Program will be working to expedite approval of emergency work and exercising enforcement discretion as appropriate.  Affected property owners are encouraged to contact Stormwater Program technical staff immediately to obtain any needed information and to arrange field consultations for the repair of existing stormwater systems and the construction of new structures and impervious surfaces which would have required a stormwater permit in non-emergency situations.  This includes construction-related disturbances of greater than one acre and the construction of impervious surfaces equal to or greater than one acre.  Field visits and approvals will be expedited for this emergency repair work and enforcement discretion exercised as appropriate. Stormwater Program Contacts: Padraic Monks, Program Manager- (802) 241-1453 or (802) 777-1778 (cell) Tom Benoit (Northern Vermont) – (802) 241-3781  Kevin Burke (Chittenden County) – (802) 241-1418 or (802) 760-0762 (cell) Christina Hutchinson  (Central Vermont) – (802) 241-1511 Matt Probasco  (Southwestern Vermont) – (802) 482-5255 or (802) 760-0804 (cell) Ryan McCall  (Statewide) – (802) 241-1006For the complete list of water quality guidelines visit http://www.anr.state.vt.us/site/html/wq_flood_recovery.htm(link is external)For more information on flood clean-up and mitigation, visit the flood page on the ANR website at www.anr.state.vt.us(link is external). VT ANR Montpelier.   9.8.2011last_img read more